Circles: English Paper Piecing

Inspired (always) by Mary, who blogs at Molly Flanders Makerie, I have had circles on the brain for several months now, hiding behind that other stack of things I’m always yakking about.


from *here*, which also includes a link to her tutorial

I searched through Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of quilt blocks and found quite a few circle blocks that interested me.  I have missed having a handwork project to keep myself busy while I watch movies or chat, so wanted to get one together before I start some of my summer travels.

I drew a circle block template in my QuiltPro program, but wanted a 12″ block.  Um, my printer doesn’t print that big.  So I took a screenshot of a quarter-circle, printed it out four times, then taped it together.  I then took it to my local copy center and had them copy it off at a little less than a buck–not bad, I thought.  Now I can draw a new block every time, experimenting with what I’ve found here and there and saved in my oh-so-old-fashioned paper files out in the garage.  The quarter circle pattern can be downloaded here: QuarterCircle

Circle Quilt Block #1 drawing_1

Notice that the 12″ line is the NOT the outside line, but just inside.  I did it that way to allow for seam allowances, but please don’t let it confuse you.  That curve ruler is leftover from my Clothing and Textiles college days, but you could use a large dinner plate, or other curved edge.

Circle Quilt Block #1 drawing_2

Circle Block #1 is done.  I plan to let this project wend its way through the next several months as I’m doing my part for the Slow Quilt Movement.  (Is there even such a movement?  So often I see someone talking about a block and whoosh!–there it is the full completed quilt two days later. This one won’t be like that.)

Circle Quilt Block #1 drawing_3

I cut it apart into its pieces.  I don’t know if I’ll paper-piece those outside quarter-circles onto the circle block, or appliqué the circle to a big 12 1/2″ square piece of fabric.  Stay tuned.

Barbara SMALL

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday, and I’m visiting her and taking her out to lunch.  If you haven’t talked to your Mom this week, give her a call.  You may not be as lucky as I am to have a mother celebrate her 86th birthday, so don’t waste any time.  If your mother is still here with you, pick up the phone and read her a poem from your childhood, tell her your best memory of a birthday, ask her forgiveness for a time you were naughty and broke her heart, and close by telling her one way she’s a good example to you.  Happy Birthday to my mother, a beautiful, thoughtful, smart, well-read and intelligent woman who always made our family believe that they were the most important thing on the planet.  Here’s my poem for you:


9 thoughts on “Circles: English Paper Piecing

  1. Perhaps I will say ‘hello’ to my mother in my dreams tonight…..she has been gone for over eight years and I miss her everyday. Happy birthday to your beautiful Mother from the other side of the world….. x

  2. Wish your Mom a Happy Birthday and have a lovely time with her. My sweet Mom has been gone for 8 years and I will always miss her.

  3. Tell your Mom Happy Birthday from me, too, in remembrance of my own mother who died from a sudden illness 16 years ago, almost to the day. She was born on Mother’s Day, and her birthday fell on Mother’s Day this year. I still miss her — every day.

  4. Those are the cutest pin cushions ! Enjoy that paper piecing too. My dad died suddenly years ago but I have my mom. Glad I still do

  5. Hi Elizabeth! I will definitely stay tuned to see how this works out for you! I love the idea of EPP this one. If you work out all the kinks, will you be offering the papers as a template for downloading? I’d love to make this, but would definitely never tackle it on my own. Thank you for doing so! It’s going to be great! I know you and your mother had a fun day together, as I saw your pics on IG. Glad for you two to have shared that special time. Blessings!

  6. I just found you through IG and am very excited about your sharing your Circles quilt patterns, thank you so much! The quilt is gorgeous and I have lots of reading to do on your blog.

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